Prepare yourself for an Epic Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary! It was top of my bucket list to live the van life and these two weeks were so so fun! Read on to find out where to meet kangaroos in the wild, the best beaches in Western Australia and where to get a quokka selfie! I had always wanted to go to Australia but it’s so far away from the UK. However from Bali, for all those Canggu digital nomads, it is just a 4 hour flight! If you need to do a visa run, then Perth is a great option!

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Me sat on top of our van during a road trip from Perth to Esperance in Western Australia

On our Wicked Camper Van!

Day 1: Perth to Dunsborough via Buffalo Beach or Busselton
Day 2: Meelup Regional Park
Day 3: Dunsborough to Hamelin Bay
Day 4: Hamelin Bay to Denmark via Mandalay Beach
Day 5: Denmark to Albany
Day 6: Albany
Day 7: Albany to Esperance
Day 8: Cape le Grand National Park – Kangaroos!
Day 9: Esperance to Perth via Wave Rock
Day 10: Perth – Rottnest Island – Quokkas!

EXTRAS

  • The Pinnacles (Nambung National Park)
  • Hutt lagoon Pink Lake

Me and Boyan walking down the road hand in hand at sunset at Sugarloaf Rock, Western Australia

When is the best time to visit Western Australia?

For this Perth to Esperance road trip I would recommend Australian summer time! So December to February is the best time. We did this trip mid February and already some days were quite chilly in the evening. Also without the sun was chilly during the day with the wind too! If you’re not into sunbathing then other time would be good too but for the beach definitely summer time!

Best way to travel around Western Australia?

Campervan!

The highlight of my trip was definitely living in a van for two weeks. It is just amazing to wake up each morning and step outside and have breakfast in the sun! (Although the weather did get worse as our trip went on!). It takes a bit of getting used to but I would definitely recommend hiring a van. You have everything you need with you and can change your itinerary as you like or as the weather dictates. We woke up every morning and made a plan for the day. There is no need to book any campsites beforehand, unless you want to stay at Lucky Bay with the kangaroos in Esperance then you will have to book this beforehand!

Me stood in front of our Wicked Camper Van at Sugarloaf Rock, Western Australia

The freedom a van gives you is just amazing but also a bit easier than actual camping. Definitely an advantage in bad weather. It took us about 5 minutes to set up the best each night and get everything charging while we watched people putting up tents well after we were cooking dinner.

Wicked Campers

Wicked Campers is a great choice for a Western Australia road trip on a budget. The depot where you pick the van up is just a 15 minute drive from Perth airport and we got an Uber here for 22 AUD. The van has lots of storage space inside as well as three small mattresses which you put together to make up the bed. Then you are also provided with a freezer box, a small gas cooker, one bottle of gas, cutlery, a pan, a saucepan and bowls and plates. You can also hire a table and chairs.

What is not included (and what you can buy from a K-Mart nearby):

A duvet, pillows and bedding – You will need to buy a duvet if you are here in February as it was cold at night!

Cost: 1,200 AUD for 2 weeks

Day 1 of the Perth to Esperance Road Trip- Perth to Eagle Bay (3hrs)

Stop along the way: Buffalo Beach or Busselton

You can also spend a few days in Perth at the start of your trip if you have extra time! Unfortunately we didn’t but a few days in Perth is a perfect amount of time to visit the city. 

Buffalo Beach

If the weather is nice then I would recommend a stop at Buffalo beach if you want to stretch your legs and head to the beach for some lunch! Also if you have a 4 wheel drive (4WD) you can actually drive right down onto the beach here! The car park is quite noisy as everyone ends up here to re-inflate their tyres. In order to drive down the beach you will need to deflate your tyres a bit. I think it helps with grip when you are driving on sand. We had a van so didn’t get to do this but if you have a 4WD then go for it as it is a great beach! We stoped here for lunch and enjoyed watching everyone driving along the beach!

Where to stay?

The whole area around Eagle Bay is Meelup Regional Park so you will not be allowed to camp anywhere in this park overnight. From here you can either head back into Dunsborough to camp or over to Yallingup. Unfortunately there was a festival on in Yallingup so the campsites were full when we arrived but this is the nicer option. Dunsborough was an okay campsite but you will be up with the sun each day as there is no shade at all.

Me sat on a viewpoint above a beach on our Perth to Esperance Road Trip!

Food ideas for those in a van!

Breakfast

  • Yohgurt, granola and banana
  • Nutella sandwich if you are Boyan

Lunch

  • French Toast

Dinner

  • Fajitas

If you are camping:

Dunsborough Caravan Park

This is a basic campsite. As I said the one downside is that there is no shade on the whole campsite, so in the evening it was super chilly and windy and in the morning you will wake up at the crack of dawn.

Cost: 40 AUD in cash
Cost of duvet hire: 5 AUD
Key card deposit: 20 AUD
Facilities: Bathrooms 3 out of 5 stars

The showers were tiny with nowhere to put any of your stuff while you are showering except the floor or one hanger. Also it was a bit breezy as it is like a portal block. The showers were warm though! All the basics that you need are there. We also turned up late and there are always people to let you in and help you.

Yallingup Caravan Park

This caravan park is right by the sea and lots of lovely camping spots surrounded by trees. We arrived late and the office was closed and it was also fully booked due to a festival but we had a drive around and it looked nice!

Cost: 32 AUD low season to 54 AUD high season for a powered site

If you aren’t camping:

Yallingup Holiday Park has chalets from $90 – $285 in high season, depending on which one you stay in.

If you are not camping then head here to check out accommodation in Dunsborough!

Day 2 – Meelup Regional Park

Not to miss:

  • Meelup Beach
  • Eagle Bay
  • Castle Rock Beach

Where to watch the sunset

  • Sugarloaf Rock

What to do in Meelup Regional Park?

Meelup Beach

This is a great beach if you want to go sea kayaking! This was one of the busier beaches we went to. I think this was because there are water sports and it’s great for families. There were also lots of benches in the shade for lunch. As always in this area, bright blue sea and perfect sand!

Me and Boyan walking down the beach at sunset, with blue water and white sand, at Bunker Bay in Australia

Little Meelup Beach

A quieter version of Meelup Beach!

Eagle Bay

This is the most popular beach here and stretches as far as the eye can see! It is a windy one so if like us you are here in February then take some warm clothes if you will be here around sunset!

Bunker Bay

Another incredible beach! We were here late afternoon and it was perfect.

Day 3 – Dunsborough to Hamelin Bay (Sting Ray Bay!) via Indijup Natural Spa and Canal Rocks

Indijup Natural Spa

(20mins from Dunsborough Caravan Park)

Head here early as it is a popular spot! It is a small pool of water that is formed as the water comes splashing over the rocks above. You have to climb over a lot of rocks to get here but it’s an amazing little spot. There are also some rocks to the left of the natural spa where you can watch the surfers on the huge waves here.

Canal Rocks

(Next door to Indijup Natural Spa)

Me walking along the rocks at Canal Rocks in Yallingup, Western Australia

Yet another rock formation. This one is a bit easier to get to as there is a walkway that takes you to a viewpoint of the rocks. However, you can also walk the whole way along the rocks here to see it all up close too.

Hamelin Bay – Sting rays!

(1hr from Canal Rocks)

Hamelin Bay is THE place to see sting rays! This little bay has a whole area where the sting rays are protected and they swim right up to the shore. Some of them are HUGE! You are not allowed to feed them but they will happily swim right by you. We were here at sunset and Hamelin Bay is also a stunning sunset spot. As you enter the beach, turn left and walk right down to the white rocks. Here you can watch the sunset perfectly, but wrap up warm as this spot is so so windy. I even almost lost my drone here and I flew it around the corner and it got caught up in the wind and it took ages to fly it back against the wind.

This was also one of my favourite sunset spots of this whole Perth to Esperance road trip!

Hamelin Bay Stingrays photo taken with a drone!

By @boyanoo

Where to stay?

If you are camping:

Hamelin Bay Holiday Park

Apart from no signal or internet this campsite was perfect! A few minutes walk to the beach and lots of lovely spots amongst the trees. If you arrive after hours, check if there are any envelopes in the box outside reception. This will include a map and tell you where your spot is for the night. We went in the morning to pay for the night. I would definitely recommend staying here!

Cost: 45 AUD for 1 night – powered site

Facilities: 4 stars out of 5

The showers were nice and warm and includes somewhere to put your stuff down. Everything was clean and there was a big camp kitchen with lots of sinks that is free to use.

If you aren’t camping:

Day 4 – Hamelin Bay to Denmark (3hours)

ATTENTION: IF YOU GO BEFORE JUNE 2020: Access to Green’s Pool and Elephant Rocks is closed due to refurbishment. We walked along the beach to get the drone shots you will see, but it was a 4.5 hour round trip. Even after that walk we still flew the drones 1km to reach Elephant Rocks.

Not to miss:

  • Green’s Pool
  • Elephant Rocks
  • Madfish Bay
  • Waterfall beach
  • Shelley Beach at West Cape Howe National Park

What to do in Denmark?

Waterfall Beach

This is a lovely beach. To reach here, park at Lights beach and start the trail to the right of the car park. You will cross one other small beach and the trail goes through some lovely coastal forest. I think once all the works are done here it will be a lot easier to access everything!

Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool

CLOSED UNTIL JUNE 2020! However, after this it is a must see. These huge rocks are incredible to see and the water in this whole area is just beautiful.

Drone shot of Elephant Rocks in Denmark, Western Australia

Madfish Bay

Beautiful sand and clear blue sea!

Shelley Beach

This is a lovely beach down a scenic winding road. At the top of the hills that surround this beach is a lookout point that provides an amazing view of the beach. The waves are big here so make sure you don’t have your keys in your pocket like one poor man we had to order a taxi for as he lost his car keys in the sea! Albany is a 40 minute drive away, which is doubled if you have to drive back with a spare set of hire car keys! This is one of the few spots you can actually camp at though! There is a small camping area here right by the water.

Where to stay?

If you are camping:

Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park

This is a lovely campsite right by the water. There are lots of spots with shade and make sure to arrive before 8pm or there is a $30 call out fee! After 6pm we just called the phone number here and someone turned up to check us in.

Cost: $41 per night for a powered site

Shelley Beach Campsite

Cost: FREE!

If you aren’t camping:

Head HERE to see prices and availability in Denmark!

Day 5 – Denmark to Albany via Mandalay Bay (1hour)

Mandalay bay ended up being QUITE a detour, but if you want to see an amazing beach then it’s worth it! I really loved it here and we had the entire beach to ourselves! You will have to pay again to enter the national park here so make sure you have your national park pass at the ready. The road to the beach looks like it won’t be much of a detour but it is a dirt road and is the bumpiest road ever. With a whole kitchen in the back of the van it’s not ideal so w had to take it slow. Needless to say the 6km took us around 20 minutes. Totally up to you whether you think this stop is worth it. If you miss it then you can skip right ahead to Day 6 and start exploring Albany!

Where to stay in Albany?

If you are camping:

Kalgan River Chalets

This was a very basic campsite and we were parked up against a wall with no shade BUT there were kangaroos everywhere! Also we turned up late and called the number and they were very helpful. We paid in the morning before we left. The camp kitchen also had a microwave and few BBQs you could use. It was a great base to explore the places below in Albany from.

Cost: $35 for one night – powered site

If you aren’t camping: Check prices here!

Day 6 Perth to Esperance Road Trip itinerary – Explore Albany!

Not to miss:

  • Frenchman Bay
  • Two People’s Bay
  • Little Beach
  • The Gap and Natural Bridge at Torndirrup National Park

What to do near Albany?

Frenchman Bay

This is a great beach you can drive right down to! It’s the perfect lunch spot as you can back up the van right by the beach, get your table and chairs and eat on the beach! The water was actually warmer here than any of the other beaches we went to as well.

Me sat on the steps down to Frenchman Bay, Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary

Two People’s Bay

Another long stretch of beach worth visiting! Although the beach next to was where we actually went down to! The day we were here it was so windy it was actually really cold and not sunny at all so we didn’t spend too much time here!

Little Beach

You may have seen these two iconic rocks on the beach, and this is the spot to see them! People do climb them but it doesn’t look easy at all. There is a small path here from the car park and you are al the beach in no time.

Drone shot of me waling between two huge rocks on our Perth to Esperance road trip in Western Australia

The Gap and Natural Bridge at Torndirrup National Park

This is an amazing spot! There is a walkway that leads to a platform where you can stand right above the waves crashing against the rocks! There were a few people here when we arrived but you can still manage to get a photo without anyone around. Once you follow the walk way to the other side you will see the Natural Bridge which is a small archway in the rocks caused by the erosion by the waves. My favourite part was definitely the walkway over the water! Remember you will have to pay an entry fee at this National Park so have your park pass ready. Otherwise it will be $15 for a vehicle.

The Gap and Natural Bridge in Albany, one of the best parts of our Perth to Esperance Road Trip! Drone shot with the water below

Where to stay?

If you are camping:

East Bay Camping Ground

This campsite is right on the beach at Two People’s Bay. You won’t have any signal but it will be a great camping spot in the wild!

Cost: FREE!

Day 7 – Albany to Esperance – 458km – 5 hours

This is a long one! Also make sure you have a full tank of fuel and top it up when you can as there isn’t much in between Albany and Esperance! Pretty much you will stay on the number 1 highway for a very long time! There is one spot where you go on a a ring road around a town but otherwise it’s a straight line the whole way.

Where to stay?

If you are camping:

RAC Esperance
Cost: $45

Day 8 – Van Life in Western Australia – Esperance! 

It’s time to finally see kangaroos on the beach! Esperance is full of perfect white sand so spend as much time here as you can as these are some of the best beaches for sure!

Not to miss:

  • Lucky Bay
  • Wharton Beach
  • Wiley Beach

Wiley Beach

There are two great beaches here right next to each other! You can also drive along both if you have a 4WD. Also there were shark signs here so watch out if you go for a swim! My favourite things here were the huge sand dunes and also the rock formation just out at sea. Heaven if you have a drone, although it was super windy so be careful while flying.

Drone shot of Wiley Bay in Esperance, Perth to Esperance Road trip!

By @boyanoo

Lucky Bay

This is the BEST place to see kangaroos! We arrived and immediately saw a kangaroo jumping along the beach. The sand is really white and the water was perfect all morning until it got stormy in the afternoon. If you have a 4WD you can drive down right onto the beach. The sand also looks much nicer as you go further down the beach. At the closes end to the car park there is a lot of stinky seaweed!

Me and the kangaroos at Lucky Bay in Esperance on our Perth to Esperance Road Trip!

Wharton Beach

We didn’t make it here but we met some people who went and said it was even more beautiful than Lucky Bay! Unfortunately the weather was against us this day but we will be back for sure!

Day 9 – Esperance to Perth via Wave Rock 7.5hours (706km)

The last leg of the Perth to Esperance Road Trip itinerary! You can either do this all in one go or break it up and stay at Wave Rock for one night. We thought we might do this but once we battled the hundreds of flies at Wave Rock we didn’t stay for long! Wave Rock is an incredible rock formation in the middle of nowhere and a great stop! They also have lots of seating area for a bit of lunch.

Cost: I think $12 per vehicle!

Me walking through wave rock in Western Australia

Where to stay?

Wave Rock Campsite if you need to break up the journey but I would do it in one go!

Day 10 – Perth – Rottnest Island (30 minute ferry from Fremantle)

If you have extra time head to Rottnest Island once you arrive back to Perth! It really was one of my favourite days of the trip as it was nice to not have to drive hardly at all throughout the day! Although I wouldn’t recommend getting bikes together with your Rottnest Express ferry ticket and you will be walking most of the way they are awful. Once you arrive, head south and choose one of the three bike routes across the island.

What to do on Rottnest Island?

Hire a bike here and go on a little day trip from Perth to Rottnest Island. You will find perfect beaches and little quokkas!

Photo of a quokka looking up at the camera at Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Meet a quokka!

These animals are just ADORABLE! Find them hiding under the bushes during the day!

Salmon Beach

This was my favourite beach on Rottnest island! The water is a beautiful colour and the sand was perfectly white. It does get quite busy so head here early.

Me sat on a bike overlooking the sea with one arm up at Rottnest Island!

Wadjemup Lighthouse

This lighthouse is a great spot to see quokkas! We saw so many here hiding in the bushes.

If you have more time on your Perth to Esperance Road Trip:

The Pinnacles at Nambung National Park

Head here for sunset and drive around this incredible desert full of rock formations poking up out of the ground. It is $15 entry per vehicle and get ready to battle the flies! It really is beautiful at sunset, we even did two laps! It take around 20 minutes to drive around with stops for photos.

The Pinnacles shot from a drone at Nambung national Park near Cervantes!

Hutt Lagoon

This pink lake is a drone photographer’s heaven. I think summer isn’t the best time to come as it looked a lot more dried up than photos we had seen but it was still very pink. However, don’t walk into it! I tried to and my foot fell through the salt and I ended up with some nasty cuts so don’t make the same mistake I did. Walking in a pink lake in France wasn’t like this at all.

Drone shot of me stood in the pink lake at Hutt Lagoon!

I hope you have enjoyed this Perth to Esperance Road Trip Itinerary! It was a bucket list experience to tick off for me and it lived up to all my expectations! Be sure not to miss Dunsborough especially Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay. Then be sure to see the stingrays at Hamelin Bay and Elephant Rocks when they reopen June 2020. Enjoy the kangaroos at Lucky Bay and if you have time definitely head to Rottnest Island and The Pinnacles. If you really want to see a pink lake then take the trip from the Pinnacles north to Hutt Lagoon for an epic day trip!

Why not Pin this Perth to Esperance Road Trip itinerary for later??

Pinterest Graphic of a kangaroo at Lucky Bay on a Perth to Esperance Road Trip Pinterest graphic with me walking along the rocks at Canal Rocks in Western Australia, Perth to Esperance Road Trip!